Calif. Board Denies Diablo Canyon Offshore Seismic Testing Proposal

State regulators in California last week dealt a setback to Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s efforts to map offshore fault lines near the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant.

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant. Source: PG&EOne of a number of seismic studies PG&E is undertaking would have used air cannons directed at the seabed as part of a process to model the underlying geology. The California Coastal Commission on Wednesday voted against approval for the testing, citing its potential to deafen or kill nearby wildlife, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Last year PG&E asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to delay relicensing requests for its Diablo Canyon reactors until results from seismic studies are in hand. Much of that work onshore has been completed.

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  • Anonymous

    1. Seismic Testing of this sort has only been used previously to look for OIL

    2. Nothing of this power and scope has ever been allowed in California waters

    3. Marine Protected areas, both State Marine Reserves and National Sanctuaries, would be destroyed

    4. This has nothing to do with the safety of Diablo Nuclear Waste Plant. If it did, the 64 million dollars would be spent on plant upgrades and that is not the case.

    5. The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors as well as Sen Sam Blakeslee want the project to be done by an oil company-owned vessel instead of the boat currently approved

    6. The State Lands Commission never actually voted- all votes were cast by 'alternates'

    7. The State Lands Commission alternates based their 'yes' vote on the NRDC approval of the project. The NRDC has changed their position

    8. The project has been misrepresented as a mandate for 5 years. The mandate was denied when Arnold Swarzenegger vetoed AB42 by Sam Blakeslee, who, coincidentally owns the seismic testing patent (!)

    9. Because of the presence of Franciscan rock formations, only poor results would be obtained from seismic testing

    10 PG&E wants to use air canons to blast every 13 seconds around the clock for 12 days, resulting in 69,000 blasts total, every blast (260db) louder than an atomic bomb (257db)

    11. Studies done by seismologist Jim Brune long ago proved the faults off Diablo would interact to give vertical acceleration to seismic energy, creating quakes larger than Diablo could stand. He won the 1997 American Seismological Society Medal. They are called ‘En Echelon’ faults

    12. Less destructive alternative methods exist, such as studying the electromagnetic properties of rocks developed at Scripps Institute of Oceanography

    13. Greenpeace, Surfrider, Sea Shepherd, Great Whales Conservancy Ocean Outfall Group Jen-Michel Cousteau Ocean Futures Society and the NRDC all oppose the project

    14. Diablo Canyon sits at the confluence of 13 earthquake faults

    15. The Diablo Cove Fault runs directly beneath Unit 1

    16. The area around Diablo (and the U.S. West Coast) are already soaked in radiation from Fukushima, found in 15 out of 15 Tuna tested in San Diego, and concentrated in Santa Cruz kelp

    17. Diablo creates 500 lbs of new nuclear waste a day that will still be deadly in a million years

    Please visit us on facebook at: Stop the Diablo Canyon Seismic Testing

  • Anonymous

    In my opinion, the comment below has no place on a site utilized by nuclear professionals.

    Shrill  misinformation: (""The area around Diablo (and the U.S. West Coast) are already soaked in radiation from Fukushima"")

    ...combined with outright lies; (""Marine Protected areas, both State Marine Reserves and National Sanctuaries, would be destroyed""), prove this is just another zero value screed by an uniformed and hostile contributor.

    Lowell Hein

    Turkey Point Nuclear Plant

  • Anonymous

    Yes, what Lowell said.  The anonymous contributor with his/her 17 points of dubious credibility (and I’m being polite there!) has done a lot of work in putting OFF any intelligent, well-educated professional from the idea of visiting "Stop the Diablo Canyon Seismic Testing" on Facebook – for instance, I won't be bothering!

    I should be clear, i'm not familiar either with the plant or with the method of testing proposed, and i accept that there may well be sound arguments against what Diablo want to do, but I haven't seen any here yet!

    Jon M Montgomerie IEng. MIET

    Technical Manager

    AMEC Engineering Development